A burst of flavors, an array of colors, and a sweet tinge constitutes irresistible Gujarati dishes. Welcome to a part of India that not only is fond of food but cherishes it as a way of living.
To think that Gujarati food is enjoyed worldwide is a testament to the fact how Gujarati cuisine has hit the right notes with people all around the world. It’s only fitting that a culture which prides itself on being welcoming, eccentric, and full of life have at least a hint of sweetener in everything they consume.
Here are some of the most delectable Gujarati dishes that would make any food lover drool over.
Soft, mushy, light and delightful. Khandvi is one of the most likable Gujarati breakfast recipes a person can have. Khandvi gives an irresistible sweet and salty taste with a batter that consists of gram flour, salt, and sugar. Another name given to it in Marathi is ‘Suralichya vadya’ as it is adorned by Gujaratis and Maharashtrians alike.
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Arguably the most recognizable Gujarati food, Dhokla is one of the most frequently consumed Gujarati dishes in the world. Be it early morning, late afternoon, or evening- it’s always the right time for Gujarati cuisine lovers to eat Dhokla.
A spongy dish made of fermented rice and chickpeas, Dhokla is best consumed with Green Chutney (made of coriander or mint) or Meethi Chutney (made of Dates and Tamarind). Another delicious sweet and salty Gujarati cuisine, Dhokla is often consumed after frying it with mustard, cumin seeds, and curry leaves to add a rich aroma to the dish.
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Handvo is a sweet and savory cake that gives depth of flavors and creativity to Gujarati cuisine. The vegetable cake is made with a filling of bottle gourd, crushed peanuts, and sometimes an assortment of other vegetables added according to taste.
The cake is considered slightly similar to Dhokla in terms of texture, but where it differentiates is in taste. For the preparation of Handvo, Gujaratis use a different type of pressure cooker to make the dish after applying a tadka of oil, cumin seeds, mustard, and curry leaves.
Straight out of the Gujarati dry snacks recipes book comes Gathiya- a deep-fried snack made of chickpea flour. The snack, after preparation, is soft, not crisp, and retains its powdery texture. Since Gujarati dishes are incomplete without a few sweeteners, the alternative version of this snack is called Mitha Gathiya. This dish is often consumed by people while having tea in the morning, or in the evening.
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A very commonly consumed Gujarati food, Thepla is a flatbread prepared in multiple variations like with fenugreek leaves, wheat flour, or cumin seeds. With a right combination of ingredients in the Thepla dough, the dish comes out with a vibrant flavor that is near impossible to ignore. Combined with add-ons like curds and chunda, Theplas are a popular portable dish that can be consumed hot or cold while traveling.
Gujarati dishes originating from Surat have a unique flavor, preparation, and taste to it. Undhiyu is mix vegetable dish that is cooked upside down underground in clay pots. A seasonal dish that awaits the arrival of Uttarayan (the Kite Festival in Gujarat) in the winter month of January.
The dish derives its name from the Gujarati word ‘Undhu’ which translates into ‘upside down’. The ingredients of Undhiyu include eggplant, fried chickpea flour dumplings, bananas and beans potatoes, green peas, slow-cooked to perfection with buttermilk, coconut, and spices.
7. Fafda Jalebi
Gujarati cuisine is filled with a variety of snacks and quick edible items. Fafda Jalebi is the tried and tested, and sweet and salty Gujarati food that is available at every street corner in Gujarat. Fafda is a crunchy snack that is made with gram flour, turmeric, and carom seeds. A light snack that is generally consumed anytime during the day, is best enjoyed by Gujaratis with Jalebi- deep fried maida flour prepared in pretzel or circular shapes.
8. Gujarati Khichdi
Not very long ago, Khichdi was given the title of the national food of India by the government. A very common dish consumed in every part of India, Gujarat also managed to create its own version of Khichdi to cater to their taste buds. Nutritious in content, and healthy in flavors and taste, Gujarati Khichdi normally contains ingredients like rice, cereals, vegetables, and ghee. Often consumed with Buttermilk, Khichdi is one of the typical Gujarati dinner recipes.
Originated in the Kutch region of Gujarat, Dabeli or Kutchi Dabeli is a popular Gujarati cuisine snack food that is slightly similar to Bombay Vada Pav in terms of texture and composition. It is the most commonly consumed food in Kutch as an estimate of 20 lakh Dabelis are consumed every day in Kutch. Inside a bread bun, ingredients like mashed potatoes, special Dabeli masala, spices, peanuts, chutney, and sev are added to give a delightful taste to the dish.
A dish that is very similar to Dhokla, Khaman is a spongy item prepared with ground chana dal or chana flour. The main difference between Khaman and Dhokla is that Khaman is fluffier because of the higher content of soda added. The perfect mix of sweet and salty taste found in Gujarati dishes can be felt in every bite of Khaman making it a favorite of a majority of the population in Gujarat.
Farsan in Gujarati refers to ‘salty snacks’. Being an integral part of Sindhi, Gujarati, and Rajasthani cuisine, there are many types of Farsan prepared and cherished all over western India. The Gujarati Farsan typically consists of a mixture of fried and dry snacks that can be stored for a long time and consumed late.
Examples of Gujarati Farsan: Chivda, Chakli, Bhajiya, Khandvi, Mathiya, and Aloo Sev
Another Gujarati food that originated in Surat, Locho is a type of a Gujarati Farsan made of wheat flour. A savory side dish that derives its name from its consistency which is pretty fragile, Locho is seasoned with oil, butter, coriander, sev, spices, and onion to add a rich coating of flavors that brings about a pleasant aroma while having food.
13. Dal Dhokli
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One of the signature Gujarati vegetarian recipes, Dal Dhokli is a dish made after boiling wheat flour noodles in pigeon pea stew. It is believed that this dish was brought to the Gujarat region by the Marwari settlers who came to establish their business ties with the outside world. This dish is comfortable for eating anytime during the day.
A staple food in the state of Gujarat, Rotlo is a flatbread made of bajra, jowar or nachni flour that is fast spreading to restaurants and hotels in other parts of India as well. In the most traditional sense, Rotlo is consumed with raw white onion, green chilies, and buttermilk. This is a Gujarati food is primarily consumed by local people in the winter season.
The more people delve into Gujarati dishes, the more they realize the importance and variety of flatbreads in Gujarati cuisine. Khakhra, another type of thin flat-bread, is a popular Jain cuisine made of mat bean, wheat flour, and oil. A common addition to the household Gujarati breakfast recipes, Khakhra is a very nutritious snack best enjoyed with spicy pickles or Meethi Chutney.
A region like Gujarat, that has a particularly sweet taste palette, is bound to have delectable sweet dishes being served up in each and every household. Mohanthal is one such Gujarati food that is made in all the regions of Gujarat with their original taste, composition, and texture.
In general, Mohanthal is a fudge-like sweet that is made from sweetened gram flour (besan) and added with rich flavors like saffron, cardamom and nuts like almonds and pistachios.
India is well-known for making multiple sweet dishes that originate from milk. Gujarati cuisine is no exception to that as Basundi is a sweet dish that comprises of boiled condensed milk and made in multiple flavors like custard apple and grape. Basundi is particularly served on auspicious occasions and festivals like Kali Chaudas and Bhaubeej. Many say that Basundi is somewhat similar to the north Indian dish called Rabri.
18. Sev Tamatar Nu Shaak
A stormy confluence of flavors of can be felt in every bite of the Sev Tamatar Nu Shaak, one of the very few Gujarati dishes that bring a sweet, salty, tangy, and spicy flavor in one go. After sauteing diced onions and tomatoes in oil and spices, the dish is cooked and sev is added on top of it to get the spicy and salty flavor to the dish. Traditionally enjoyed with flat-breads like Theplas, rotis, or paranthas, Sev Tamatar Nu Shaak is a popular dish for children in Gujarati households.
19. Gujarati Kadhi
One of the most recognizable Gujarati dishes made from buttermilk or yogurt and gram flour. An essential part of Gujarati food, Kadhi prepared in Gujarat is lighter than its variants prepared in north India. The lighter gravy is obtained by adding a few cups of water to the curd and gram flour mixture. In Gujarat, people like to consume Kadhi piping hot with Khichdi, roti, or rice.
A crunchy, sweet, and aromatic street-food prepared by deep frying a crescent-shaped dough with a filling that is as delicious as any Indian sweet. Traditionally prepared during the festival seasons like Holi or Diwali, Ghughra goes by the name of Gujiya or Gujhiya in other parts of India. Calorie-conscious people can go for the baked, instead of deep-fried, version of this sweet to enjoy the same taste in a healthier form.
If you didn’t have your taste buds tingling till now, these rich, aromatic, and delectable Gujarati dishes must have done the job for you. Remember to try all these fantastic Gujarati cuisines and share your experience about the same with us.
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